On May 19, 2021, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act (MAASA) of 2021, along with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Representatives Tom Rice (R-SC) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced identical legislation (H.R. 1587) in the House of Representatives. Since its introduction on March 3rd, the House bill has already secured 32 bipartisan cosponsors, following significant bipartisan support during the 116th Congress.
The proposed legislation would grant audiologists practitioner status under Medicare, allow for direct access to audiologists without a physician order, and allow audiologists to provide covered treatment services, such as vestibular rehabilitation, cerumen removal, and aural rehabilitation. The enactment of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act will not change audiologists’ current scope of practice nor will it add any new services into the Medicare program. The legislation will simply bring Medicare coverage policies in line with today’s best practices for the delivery of hearing and balance healthcare and reduce unnecessary services.
The Hearing Industries Association (HIA) Board of Directors endorsed MAASA on September 2, 2021. MAASA has also been endorsed by the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
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